Carrie Hervin Papers


Today I warn people, “When you go into a new organization, don’t get up too soon to express a view or articulate an idea because immediately you are pegged.”[Carrie Hervin]

Carrie Hervin (1893-1989) found herself “pegged” when she attended a meeting of the League of Women Voters. The Portland League wasted no time in employing her leadership skills and she became president during World War II. With the demand for women’s volunteer hours stretched thin by the needs of the war – rolling bandages, serving on alert systems, etc., she recognized an opportunity to infuse the organization with purpose. When told that “If you can just hold the organization together until the end of the war, that is all that can be expected.” Hervin responded, “If that is all you want, I will never accept the presidency. If the League of Women Voters does not have a purpose to serve during a time of war, it should just disband.”
Hervin made it her mission to ensure that the most representative persons
possible were running for office, and that “questionable measures” were not put over on the American people while the nation’s attention was diverted to the war. She believed and furthered the role of the League as the “watch dog” of the government.

Hervin received many invitations to join other organizations but she was always careful to join only where she felt she had the time and skills to make a difference.  She attributed her extensive commitment to community service to lessons she learned from her father, Israel Bromberg. He taught her to believe that she owed something to her community.

Scope and Content:

Oregon Jewish Museum Oral History Project. Interview with Carrie Hervin

Partner Information:

Oregon Jewish Museum
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Portland OR 97209


Anne LeVant Prahl
Curator of Collections
503/226-3600 ext. 102
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